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Oregon Hijacking USC’s Pursuit of Clancy Pendergast?

Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks mascot during the first half of the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks mascot during the first half of the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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Not so fast…Following reports of Clancy Pendergast’s impending return to USC, Oregon now also appears hot in pursuit of the defensive coordinator.

Early Wednesday morning ESPN’s Ed Werder had hinted of the Ducks interest in bringing in Pendergast to replace the demoted Don Pellum.

Thursday morning, Football Scoop added to the narrative with word that the hold up in officially announcing Pendergast as USC’s defensive coordinator may be related to Oregon’s pursuit:

"Yesterday we reported that barring contractual issues Clancy Pendergast was expected to become the new defensive coordinator at USC. Overnight, we heard from source in California who relays that USC, as of last night, was no longer convinced that it was just contractual issues that was the holdup. There is belief that Oregon continues to make their pitch; and one source said USC “won’t ultimately be convinced he’s ready to leave the NFL until he signs” with a college team. Clancy Pendergast:"

Multiple reports had surfaced since the end of the NFL regular season that Pendergast was likely to sign with the Trojans, but this latest hiccup will keep USC fans on their toes for awhile longer.

UPDATE: Scott Wolf of the Daily News reports that Pendergast will meet with Oregon Thursday.

Should USC lose out to Oregon, or anyone else who may jump into the mix, the set back towards recruiting would be significant.

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Though the Trojans were able to secure the commitment of five-star defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku without a defensive staff in place, continuing out of the dead period without a defensive coordinator settled would complicate other recruitment efforts.

Pendergast is currently a linebackers coach with the 49ers. He was the defensive coordinator at USC under Lane Kiffin and then Ed Orgeron, maintaining the Trojans as the Pac-12’s top defense. Prior to that he had served as the defensive coordinator at Cal.

However, his roots are in the NFL where he was a defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals, as well as a position coach with Cleveland and Dallas.

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